This year, Small Business Saturday 2017 will be on the 25th of November. That means in 10 days, your business will be overflowing with customers wanting to buy everything in their sight! Small Business Saturday is a true gift to small business owners. It was started in 2010 by America Express as a method to recognize small businesses on a national level. It helps increase awareness of sales during the busiest and most wonderful time of the year. The Saturday after Thanksgiving means people usually have the day off— perfect for shopping. That post-Thanksgiving feast alone is enough to put anyone in the holiday mood and get them excited to go out and buy a gift for friends, family, or themselves.
If you haven’t begun to plan yet, don’t panic, you still have time. Just not a lot of time. With a little time and effort, you can get the most out of Small Business Saturday 2017! To help you make sure you have your bases covered, we’re sharing with you our Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Use the Advertising Resources from American Express.
Not wanting to create personalized and specific advertising materials for Small Business Saturday 2017? No worries, American Express has you covered! They provide free, personalized resources and advertising tools on their website. Make sure every potential customer knows you are part of Small Business Saturday 2017. To further promote and support the holiday, you should download the iconic ‘Shop Small’ logo and make sure it is clearly displayed on your door, front window, check-out counter, and on your website.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Update Your Website.
We all know Cyber Monday has become more of a go-to than the early mornings and mosh pit that is Black Friday. While Small Business Saturday will still get the foot traffic in your doors, the number of online shoppers get bigger every year. You can get online shopper in two ways. Some shoppers will order directly from your website and save themselves the trip and the crowd. Or, what’s more common, is shoppers will plan their route ahead of time based on what you’re selling and the deals of the day. To make the most of this opportunity, be sure your website has an updated inventory list and has your promotions and sales clearly stated. Don’t forget the little details. Is your contact information correct? Are you having special hours? Keep in mind that people might like to plan ahead for the crowds. Is your business on a busy street for foot traffic? Let them know where is the best place to park. If your business is more difficult to find, make sure your address is updated on your website and is recognized by Uber and Google Maps. Pictures of landmarks never hurt. You want your website to work for you not against you!
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Is Your Website Optimized for Mobile Users.
People tend to plan their Small Business Saturday shopping trips with friends. After that huge Thanksgiving feast, people are likely to sit around and plan the weekend. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you are asking for trouble. Most people will do their searching on their phone or tablet.
“According to Google, 74 percent of people say they’re more likely to return to a site if it’s mobile-friendly. Keep the user experience a priority and ensure a successful shopping experience for your customers through a website that’s optimized for mobile phones. You can put your site through a simple test here,” says Entrepreneur.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Make the Customer Feel Welcome.
Being a small business gives you a leg up on the competition with large corporations. You have more soul and are seen as the ‘good and familiar mom and pop shop‘ in the economy. People want to shop with you and give you their money instead of some large corporations. Why? Because customers feel that to you, they are more than just a number. How do they get this feeling? Because traditionally, customer service is much better at a small business. Play this up on Small Business Saturday. Make the shopping experience more than just the 6th level of Dante’s Inferno, as it commonly is on shopping holidays like Black Friday. Engage with your customers. Ask them how they are. See if they are searching for anything in particular.
Pro-Tip: Really want to stand out and draw your customers in on Small Business Saturday? Go above and beyond the typical service. Offer to take people’s coats so they are more comfortable to browse your store and shop. Just make sure to give out little coat tags so no one’s coat gets accidentally taken. Strategically place chairs throughout your business. People will be on their feet most of the day and will welcome a quick chance to sit down. What’s the absolute best way to get people in a good mood to shop? Feed them! In the iconic words of Marie Antoinette, “Let them eat cake.” Offer water, coffee, and small drinks to customers. Also, have individual, bite-sized snacks for customers. Little cookies, brownies, or even tea sandwiches will do a world of good for your customers. It will give them a sugar rush and revive them. These little kindnesses will make customers feel more inclined to buy something at your store.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Prepare for the Worst.
Unfortunately, Small Business Saturday is not all fun and games. Two things could possibly kill your Small Business Saturday 2017: theft and payment processing going down. For theft, the best thing you can do is make sure you have extra staff on hand to help monitor your shop. Crowds could double or even triple, making it much easier for someone to slip something into their pocket or bag. Don’t be hawkish. The best way to do this is by having employees walk around to greet customers and make conversation. Make sure someone is always at the door to welcome, say goodbye and offer refreshments to customers. Greeters can and should serve as extra security.
We all know that when you need something the most, it doesn’t work. Plan ahead and call your credit card processing company. Make sure your security and compliance test, like the PCI, are all current. If you don’t have stickers of what credit cards you take, ask your payment processing company for some so customers know their payment options. More and more people are using ApplePay, so make sure to take advantage of that. Tell them that you will be having a holiday sale and if your hours will be extended. Many credit card terminals are set to auto batch transactions anywhere from 10 mins to hours after closing, so make sure it doesn’t batch before you close. You also want a have a backup plan in case your system goes down or your terminal decides to die on the most important day of the year. Ask about setting up an online gateway, which is like a virtual terminal, like Authorize.net, so you can still process if something goes down.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Use Social Media.
This should go without saying but make sure your social media is updated with all of your deals. Update your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, any and everything you use. If you have an email or text message marketing campaign, get it ready to roll for the days leading up to Small Business Saturday 2017!
Post in the morning, afternoon, and early evening about your hours and specials. Make sure to be specific. If you say, “Come See Us Tomorrow for Small Business Saturday 2017!”, that’s nice, but it won’t do you much good. Entice your customer. Say something like, “20% Off The Entire Store” or “Free Gift With Purchase” or “Spend $100 get 15% Off, Spend $150 Get 20% Off”. If you needed some ideas for what deals to offer, have at ’em!
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Get the Most Out of Your Online Advertising.
It addition to using social media, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Google AdWords. When you update your marketing materials for your sales, make sure your keywords match the promotions and sales you are running. Don’t forget to geotag your business locations and geotarget your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram messages. This will help attract more customers to your location.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 – Make It an Event.
Small Business Saturday is a holiday, not just a regular shopping day. Make an event out of it. In addition to small food and drinks, do some other fun things for customers. Have door prizes. Do a raffle. Depending on your business and your location, you might want to have live music. Make your store somewhere that people are dying to go to because, in addition to great deals, you have prizes and specials no one wants to miss.
Tips for Small Business Saturday 2017 — Team Up with Other Small Businesses.
This may seem counter-intuitive. But teaming up with other business is a great way to get people in your stores, especially if you’re in a high foot traffic area. Consider creating gift baskets in which each business contributes something to it. To win, you can have people purchase tickets and split the profits. Or to get more foot traffic, have a punch card and for every store visited, you get a punch if you complete the card you are entered to win the basket. You may also consider giving extra chances to win to customers who spend a certain amount of money. Everyone loves and an assortment of goods, so get creative and have fun!